THE SOLES OF THE FEET
Joshua 3:9 And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, Come hither, and hear the words of the LORD your God. 10 And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites. 11 Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passeth over before you into Jordan. 12 Now therefore take you twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, out of every tribe a man. 13 And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap.
We are most fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psa. 139:14). The entirety of the human body is designed by the Lord God to reveal something of himself! 1Cor. 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. (NEVER read Psalm 139 from only the view point of every day human birth, but primarily from the view point of the Incarnation! Think also of the Eternal Son stating these things about his humanity!)
And there is no part of that statue, no matter how seemingly insignificant, that is unimportant in that revelation! 1 Corin. 12:20 But now are they many members, yet but one body. 21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. 24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:
In fact, in the spiritual concept of things, the feet are to be kept, and to be studied in order not to offend the Lord, and to perceive the spiritual matters of life! Prov. 4:26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Eccl. 5:1 Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.
Consider also these verses: Psalm 119:59 I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. 105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Now lets consider the charge that the Lord gave Joshua in the first place. In the very opening verses of the Book of Joshua we read: Joshua 1:1 Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, 2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.
Two things are immediately obvious. First Joshua, taking the place of Moses, has been chosen to take all the people over this Jordan. And secondly, his attention is directed to the sole of (his) foot! For it was only as the foot touched the various portions of ground in obtaining the land given them, that the Lord would cause their warfare to succeed! Those who ‘believe’ in such sovereignty of God as not to take any steps for him, fail to show the respect and obedience due him as sovereign! And those who ‘believe’ that their efforts alone bring them their supposed desires, do not even know the God of all might! Would to God that we who profess sovereignty believed in absolute, full-time sovereignty, and not just in this selective sovereignty so much under foot in our day!
If ‘our’ man gets elected, then God sovereignly did that! But if the other guy gets into office, God must have been asleep at the wheel, allowing the Devil to slip one over on him! No, friend! God is sovereign over all! We just don’t want to submit to that which is against our religious prejudices! Ephes. 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
For it was because the Lord had told them he had already given them the land that they knew their steps would be successful in obtaining it! – But not without their steps! For it is as Brother Ryan Mussell, one of our young peoples teachers, recently stated concerning prayer; “We do not pray in order to talk God into anything! We pray in order to fit ourselves in obedience to his revealed will!”
Joshua and the people were to press the soles of their feet upon the land, NOT in order to force God to give it to them, but because God had already given it to them! In the following passage in Ezekiel 36 we read that the Lord God has already said, I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it. (v.36). Then we read in the very next verse (v.37), these words: Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock. The Lord said, “I’m absolutely going to do this, but absolutely not without your prayers!” Luke 11:9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
The Waters Relate to the Feet!
We read in Joshua 3:13, above, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off .. as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests .. shall rest in the Jordan. And then we read in Joshua 4:18 And it came to pass, when the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD were come up out of the midst of Jordan, and the soles of the priests’ feet were lifted up unto the dry land, that the waters of Jordan returned unto their place, and flowed over all his banks, as they did before.
This twofold miracle is of the utmost importance! For it shall be the pledge of assurance that the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and of Moses, shall be among them, and without fail (3:10), shall drive out the Canaanites in that warfare with them for all the years to come! – But! Not without their feet touching that soil!
God is not going to bless them ‘anyhow!’ God is going to bless them ‘God’s how!’ And ‘God’s how’ requires the fulfilling of this responsibility! Can this be more clearly shown than in the conquering of the walled city, Jericho? For all that they were told to do was walk around it! They just had to cause the soles of their feet to touch the grounds around that great city, and – as we say, ‘not fire a shot!’ – Just walk! And the walls of the city imploded! Because of Israel’s obedient feet, Jericho fell! Joshua 6:2 And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour. 3 And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Isaiah 26:5 For he bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low; he layeth it low, even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust. 6 The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy.
Therefore this two part miracle only took place as the soles of the priest’s feet went into, and came up out of the Jordan River bed! The overflowing waters were cut off as their feet went in, and the waters returned, even unto their flood stage, as their feet were lifted up unto the dry land!
This should spark an interest in the Hebrew word, sole. Let us look at that word to see its significance. It is derived from the Hebrew that is translated into the English as, them that are bowed down, as seen in Psalm 146:8. You would wonder what the sole of the foot would have to do with that phrase. But the connection is the ‘curve’ of the foot’s sole! We ‘curve’ ourselves downward in humble worship to the Lord. And the Lord put that inference in the foot in his design as he implanted an arch in its design. Sole means, to curve!
There is another place in the scripture where that same root word is translated into an entirely different English word. For in Habakkuk 2:9 we find find it shown as power. Again, what connection does the sole of the foot have with “power?” Have you ever seen any corrugated metal? It is in a stronger form than it was before it was fashioned so. The dictionary states that “corrugated” means, “to bend into folds or alternate furrows and ridges.” That is, they put curves into it. For when something has a curve in its design it is stronger than before it was curved. Some of the Roman bridges and viaducts are still standing today due to their having been built with arches. Therefore the sole of the foot is more powerful due to its arch!
And so it is with the spiritual believer. He must worship God in spirit. For these are those alone whom the Father seeks to worship him! (John 4:23). Their bowing down, like a curve, is the source of their power! None is ever so strong as when he is bowed before the Lord God!
This gives us some insight into the gospel foot. For the Apostle Paul writes, concerning the whole armor of God, that the feet should never be omitted. Ephesians 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. The feet are to be attended to, just as much as obtaining the breastplate of the imputed righteousness of Christ. They are of such importance as the shield of faith, which is the victory that overcomes the world! (1 John 5:4).
And the Lord has seen fit that his people, throughout all ages shall have afforded them the beautiful feet of gospel preparation to bring them all the comfort of the message of his sovereign mercy and protection! Isaiah 52:5 Now therefore, what have I here, saith the LORD, that my people is taken away for nought? they that rule over them make them to howl, saith the LORD; and my name continually every day is blasphemed. 6 Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I. 7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
Now listen to the apostle sound forth this same spiritual truth: Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
King David was a strong personal type of the Lord Jesus Christ. And his men were mighty warriors who advanced the kingdom of Israel. And the Lord Jesus has warriors mighty through God, who war in the spirit in the advancement of the kingdom of Christ. Look at their presentation to us in the scriptures.
1 Chronicles 12:8 And of the Gadites there separated themselves unto David into the hold to the wilderness men of might, and men of war fit for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as the roes upon the mountains; 14 These were of the sons of Gad, captains of the host: one of the least was over an hundred, and the greatest over a thousand. 15 These are they that went over Jordan in the first month, when it had overflown all his banks; and they put to flight all them of the valleys, both toward the east, and toward the west.
We are not instructed here as to how these warriors got across the swollen Jordan, just that they did! For the Lord does not want us to be locked into traditional religious practice, but that we should be strongly dependent on Him, no matter the provision of our deliverance. We are to be more associated with the Deliver-er than the deliver-ance! And rest assured, dear reader, if you are on the road to eternal glory, you will go by way of a personal cross! You will have to go through trials so diverse as floods and fires! It is not a matter of “if,” but “when.”
Listen to these verses as they not only speak of the emphatic devotedness of the Lord God to all believers, but also, equally strong as to their varying trials. Isaiah 43:1 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. 2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. 3 For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. 4 Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.
Remember that it was in this particular trial that the Lord’s pledge to them was given. Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you … God’s presence throughout the remainder of your life will be ‘felt’ by the same faith that strengthened your trust in him here! And you shall thereafter be encouraged to place the soles of your feet in obedient faith, trusting in his word!
Pastor Gene Breed.
November 25, 2011